News and Analysis

AT&T has committed to offering its live streaming service, DIRECTV Now, on Roku streaming devices by the end of this month, but there are now just 10 days left in March and customer support reps seem to be trying to downplay expectations.

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In response to questions regarding DIRECTV Now’s availability on Roku, @DIRECTVNowHelp, its Twitter customer service team, said this last night:

“We are working on having Roku added as a compatible device, though we don’t have an ETA. Please continue to check back.”

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One DIRECTV Now customer wondered on Twitter whether the lack of an ‘Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)’ meant the goal of launching in the first quarter would not be met.

“Not the “1st quarter” anymore? If not, I’m out. I’ve been with you and waiting since Nov. Done watching on phone,” said @CasadaAdan

In its response, @DIRECTVNowHelp did not comment directly on the ‘first quarter’ remark and instead tweeted: “It will be here sooner than you think.”

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On March 13, I noted here that DIRECTV Now may be afraid that the addition of Roku, which has more users than any other streaming device, could significantly increase subscribers, and that could lead to more technical snafus.

AT&T executives have said the frequent errors that still plague DIRECTV NOW, such as picture freezing, login issues, and picture quality problems, have been caused in part to a larger number of subscribers than the company anticipated. They simply weren’t ready to handle the traffic at launch and beyond.

Click: Amazon Fire TV Streaming Devices.

DIRECTV Now may now be having difficulty coordinating with Roku to develop a stable app that will not trigger more technical snafus.

— Phillip Swann